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Does Being Good at “Sales” Matter at Nonprofits?

12 Mar

There’s a bit of a stigma around “sales.” Everyone can think of bad salespeople, the ones who try to get you to buy something you don’t need. Fair enough. That’s not what we’re referring to with “sales.”

Nonprofit development is about win-win.

Sales to me, simply equates to talking with people to learn about what they want to do, and figuring out whether there’s some way we can help them do it. Whether it’s through an introduction to someone, helping them find resources they didn’t know about, or something  else. If there’s a need that’s clearly defined, then there’s probably a solution somewhere. A great salesperson (or development person) connects those dots. That’s all. Win-win.

Nonprofit development helps match people with the perfect giving or volunteering opportunity.

Nonprofits are no different. Altruistic people with amazing aspirations want nonprofits to help them connect their time, talents and treasure with people that need it most. But they won’t always stumble upon what might work best on their own, day to day. So development is sales, helping them see where their best opportunity for impact lies. And sales – when done well professionally – is exactly that. Connecting people with opportunities they want. That’s all.

Sales isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes nonprofits and corporations alike work. Every entrepreneur is a salesperson. Their first sale is to convince someone, at some time how they can make people’s lives better and easier. If they can’t, their company won’t go far.  How good they are at selling determines the height of their wave that creates impact.

Entrepreneurs create the waves that create progress.

And so without sales, there would be no companies. And no nonprofits. Every nonprofit founder has to be a pretty amazing salesperson to convince others to join in an effort that will most probably take a lot of time, talent and treasure — to be rewarded most often simply with smiles!

So if you’re in development, be thankful. It’s “sales” in the best sense. You are letting people know the best ways they can help solve problems, in the most efficient and effective ways possible. You are showing the wonderful donors, advocates and volunteers how and when they can do the best good. And that means a lot to them.

Nonprofit development professionals help introduce people to the ideal opportunities to help others.

Professional salespeople know that the only good “sale” is when you open a long-term relationship with someone based on a win-win scenario where you both learn and grow and solve problems. Development is no different. Helping people learn and decide the best way to help other people is probably one of the best roles out there.

So being an excellent salesperson is part and parcel of being a great development person.  It’s all about being as useful, helpful, and relevant as you can to the people you’re helping.  And development professionals will probably be the first to second that!

Seriously, nonprofit development is THE BEST!

 

What do you think?  Please let me know @CharityIdeas!

 

Social Good Stars: Global Philanthropy Group’s (@GlobalPhilGrp) Maggie Neilson

27 Apr

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Good Marketing and Branding Consultant

Social Good Stars: Global Philanthropy Group’s Maggie Neilson

Posted: 04/26/2012 12:21 pm

This is the seventh installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the seventh interview with Ryan Scott, CEO of Causecast, here.

“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.” ~ Bono

When it comes to world-shaping, Maggie Neilson, Partner and CEO at Global Philanthropy Group, has tremendous insight. With a background including working with some of the world’s best-know philanthropies and brands with Social Good vision, she has first-hand experience with helping to shape and develop impactful projects globally. Many of her clients are celebrities with a wide reach and equally big passion to help. Additionally, Maggie was on the United Nations‘ International Year of Microcredit Leadership Team, Synergos Insitute‘s international development programs around child malnutrition in India, sustainable global food programs and health programs in Africa, and has been a featured speaker at Harvard and Columbia on microfinance. She weaves her love of helping into every aspect of her life and her work, and shares some of her wisdom below.

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Photo courtesy of Global Philanthropy Group

You and your partner Trevor Neilson have worked with many well-known philanthropists, such as Bill Gates, Bono, Sir Richard Branson, President Bill Clinton, Rachael Ray, and numerous others. Are there strategies they share that individuals and organizations can also use?

Yes. Each of these individuals — as well as the corporations we work with — effectively leverages their unique strengths and passions. Bill Gates’ analytical approach and focus on measurable outcomes is unparalleled. Sir Branson deploys Virgin’s marketing genius to help launch new philanthropists. President’ Clinton uses his global network to build high powered coalitions. Rachael’s cooking expertise and approachability enable her to uniquely help people improve their eating. Every person can use what they have to make a change. Just look at what you care about, what you have and who you know. Some of the best philanthropic efforts I’ve seen in recent years have been by kids using what they have.

With your long track record of successful international projects, what changes have you seen in the global landscape because of things like social media and instant access to information?

Social media and information access have been an incredibly powerful tools in philanthropic work. Whether it is a rural farmer receiving crop price data via mobile phone or millions of young people learning quickly about African child soldiers from the Kony 2012 campaign, we see things that were not imaginable a decade ago. However, as with all tools, there is a downside. Pimps and johns can reach sex slaves within a click or two. I heard a john once say that he could order a girl as fast as a pizza. That’s sobering to say the least.

Based on trends you see now, are there new ways you envision individuals and causes interacting a few years from now?

Yes. Technology advances and the challenging economic environment are going to simultaneously result in more informed donors due to better information services and reporting as well as more effective, outcomes-oriented nonprofit organizations. In some cases, this will be due to mergers and acquisitions among duplicative organizations.

Having worked with the United Nations on microfinance/microcredit projects, what role do you see microfinance playing globally now, with the growth of smartphones, apps, text-based fundraising, etc.? What are your thoughts on microdonations becoming a bigger piece of fundraising internationally?

The current state of microfinance is transitional. Whether it achieves its potential will largely be determined by three issues; How can we protect already vulnerable people from abuses by unsavory microfinance practitioners? How can we scale up the provision of microfinance services like savings and insurance which help protect against the natural life events that often lead to extreme poverty? And how can we continue to unleash more commercial capital for microfinance use by low income customers?

I am very excited about the potential of microdonations. If, as I mentioned, we can improve the quantity, quality and usability of data available to donors, this could create a sizable, nimble funding stream.

Can you highlight a couple good examples of kids being involved in causes? What are some resources you’d suggest to parents who want to help their kids get involved and develop a passion for helping others?

This is one of my personal passions. We are in a time of great change in terms of who does what between the government, non-profit and corporate sectors. Everyone – including every person of every age – has the opportunity to be involved in philanthropy. Two good resources are Clover by Clover and Acme Sharing Company. Also organizations like Baby Buggy let parents give back in a way that is easy and makes a difference.

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Maggie Neilson, Partner and CEO, Global Philanthropy Group. Photo courtesy of Maggie Neilson.

Learn more about Maggie and Global Philanthropy Group’s work on Facebook, Twitter @mrneilson, and LinkedIn.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Social Good Stars: Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) Gives a Voice to Our Homeless Friends

19 Jan

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Social Good Stars: Mark Horvath

Posted: 1/15/12 11:00 AM ET

This is the fourth installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the third interview with Amanda Hite here.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~ Voltaire

Appreciation. When you think about Mark Horvath, it describes both the feeling one gets upon meeting him and hearing his tales, and also his compassionate view of the world. Through his documentation of the fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking, often inspiring, and always enriching stories of people experiencing homelessness in their own words, he helps us all gain a new appreciation of humanity and how similar we all really are. He’s broken the mold. He is not doing what makes sense, he’s not doing something that even pays the bills–he is living out his passion and doing what burns deep inside of him. Mark gives a face and a voice to homelessness, something he knows all too well as he once lived among them.

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Mark Horvath with Ann Marie (@padschicago).

How did social media influence your decision to travel the US and
Canada for invisiblepeople.tv, interviewing our homeless friends and
the compassionate people and nonprofits that support them?

Seventeen years ago, I had a very good job in the television industry. Sixteen years ago, I became homeless, living on Hollywood Boulevard. I rebuilt my life to a point where I had a three-bedroom house and a 780 credit score, then in 2007 the economy took a nosedive. Like many Americans, I found myself unemployed, living off my credit cards, and hoping for the best. The best never came, but several layoffs — along with foreclosure on my house — did.

By November 2008, I found myself once again laid off. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and, to be honest, I was scared of once again living on the streets of Hollywood. I could see homelessness all around me, but I couldn’t bear to look.
I was turning away because I felt their pain.

Don’t waste a good crisis. It’s a simple concept and it’s how InvisiblePeople. tv started. For the most part I had lost everything but some furniture, my car, a box of photos, laptop, small camera, and my iPhone. After looking at what I didn’t have and all the problems that were stopping me, I decided to just use what I had. I registered a domain, changed the header on a WordPress theme, grabbed my camera, and started to interview people.

I honestly didn’t think anyone would even view the videos. I was really doing it to release something that was deep down inside me, and to be candid, to keep busy. It was a really dark time and InvisiblePeople.tv gave me a purpose.

I’ll never forget going into the first tent city. It was 400 yards in a wooded area where no help could easily arrive if I found myself in trouble. I questioned my sanity walking in there with a camera and a bag of socks. One smart thing I did was blast what I was doing all over social media so people could feel like they were right there with me. That day my life changed. People started to tweet me encouragement and all kinds of support. The InvisiblePeople. tv road trip was born.


What are some of your most memorable moments from your 2011 US/Canada Road Trip?

Getting to hang with Donnie in his apartment was a very powerful moment. It was so cold when I met Donny I thought my face was going to fall off. Donny had been homeless over twenty years. He had nothing but a blanket and the heating vent from a local business to stay warm. I honestly don’t know how he survived. Thanks to the power of social media and Youtube, the people of Calgary targeted Donny and got him into housing.

Terry Pettigrew was a sweet man dying of cancer I first met while visiting a homeless shelter in Calgary, Canada. I was really moved by Terry and put his video up that very night. The local news media was with me when I visited Terry and The Calgary Herald put his story on their front page. Terry’s brother, Larry, who he had no contact with for 34 years, saw the news story and the two brothers were reunited. There are no words to describe this miracle. I am so very grateful to have played a small part in Terry being reunited with his family for his last moments on Earth. Although homeless most of his life, Terry was able to spend 53 wonderful days with a loving family.

What also has me excited is the history we made with major brands and fighting homelessness this year. General Motors, Hanes, and Murphy USA, all had branded events in 2011 that helped benefit local homeless services, and this year, with @home being released, we will use what we learned in 2011 to hold events that are even bigger and will have more impact.

What advice would you give to someone who was looking to elevate their
social good efforts with social media?

Relationships are key. Story is everything. Communication is vital. Be flexible. Slow is good. Learn to be comfortable with insecurity.

There have been a lot of articles noting how important social media
and technology is to homeless people, to stay connected. Can you talk
a little about that? How did that influence WeAreVisible.com?

If you own a business, you better listen to your customers or you will go out of business. In homeless services, governments and nonprofits don’t listen to the people we serve as much as we might. The general public has received most of its homeless information from marketing materials. We don’t necessarily need another “expert” on homelessness… we need to listen to the single mom living in her van.

Social media can also provide much needed peer-to-peer support to homeless people and formerly homeless people. Most nonprofits do not have the resources to provide tangible social interaction with their clients. We cannot just throw people into housing. There must be community. Social norms are very powerful. We hope to launch the second phase of We Are Visible in early 2012 to help facilitate more social support.
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You can learn more about the two organizations Mark Horvath founded at InvisiblePeople.tv and WeAreVisible.com. Follow Mark on Twitter @hardlynormal.

Amy Neumann is a writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Share the Joy: 12 Days of Giving – #12DaysOfGiving

12 Dec

This also appears on the Huffington Post.

“One person can make a difference, and every person should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy

‘Tis better to give than receive, as the old adage goes. And at no time of year do we feel this more keenly than the holidays! The spirit of giving is everywhere. People are a little kinder, a little more generous, and a little more willing to help a stranger.

All of these things led to the #12DaysofGiving, a 12-day bonanza of giving, sharing, and promoting social good from 12/13 to 12/24. Each day, amazing people and charities will be highlighted, with the goal to raise over $12,000 for the causes, as well to enlist the help of millions of passionate social media users globally to help spread awareness. The goal is not only to show support for these causes, but also to illustrate the power of social media for social good and the massive impact thousands of small, meaningful actions can help when used collectively.

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12 Outstanding Charities.
12 Inspiring Influencers.
12 Days of Giving…
One Amazing Project

How can you help? First, please share this on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, your Blog, and email. And if you can, please make a small (or huge!) donation on Crowdrise to any or all of the diverse group of incredible charities here.
You can follow @12DaysGiving, and learn more on the 12 Days of Giving site, GivingKicksAss.com or on Crowdrise.

Happy giving!

Podcast (iTunes) #2: Amy Neumann and @CharityIdeas – on ClaireDiazOrtiz.com

5 Dec

Thank you to one of my favorite Social Good Stars, Claire Diaz-Ortiz!  This piece originally appears on ClaireDiazOrtiz.com – http://clairediazortiz.com/podcast-2-amy-neumann-and-charityideas/

The podcast is also available for free on iTunes – “The Claire Diaz-Ortiz Podcast” >> “Amy Neumann & @CharityIdeas”

Podcast #2: Amy Neumann and @CharityIdeas

December 1, 2011 By
Alright folks.  My second podcast episodeis live.  Join me as I chat with Amy Neumann (@charityideason the Twitters) about her passion for technology and how she got started in the business of world changing.  Here!

Click above for the podcast on ClaireDiazOrtiz.com or check it out on iTunes.

Twitter for Good #mybook

Filed Under: Blogging, Podcast

Social Good Stars: Twitter’s Claire Diaz-Ortiz (@ClaireD)

5 Dec

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post series, “Social Good Stars.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-neumann/twitter-for-good_b_1116429.html

Amy Neumann

Writer, speaker and social media consultant for nonprofits and businesses

Social Good Stars: Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Posted: 11/29/11 04:58 PM ET

Twitter , Claire Diaz Ortiz , Claire Diaz-Ortiz , Social Good Stars , Twitter For Good , Nonprofit Marketing , Social Media For Social Good , Twitter Claire Diaz Ortiz , Impact News

This is the second interview in a new Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the first interview with Beth Kanter here.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  ~Leo Buscaglia

The magic of Twitter lies in just that — the ability to connect with like-minded people in big and small ways, all over the world. And someone who knows all about that is Twitter’s own Claire Diaz Ortiz, who leads social innovation, philanthropy, and causes at Twitter since 2009. She is the author of Twitter for Good: Change the World, One Tweet at a Time, and is a frequent international speaker known for developing the TWEET model — a framework to help organizations and individuals best excel on Twitter. Claire holds an MBA from Oxford University, where she was a Skoll Foundation Scholar for Social Entrepreneurship. She is also the co-founder of Hope Runs, a non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in East Africa.

2011-11-28-clairebioshotwebsmall.jpegClaire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter’s own Force for Good.  Photo Courtesy of Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Since being panelists together at Dell’s Social Innovation Conference earlier this year, I have had the honor of speaking with Claire many times about social good and how Twitter has facilitated connections, awareness, action, fundraising, and the real-time flow of information globally. Here are a few key points of interest for anyone wondering how to get even more out of Twitter and social media for social good.

What do you consider most important for organizations who want to use Twitter for Good effectively?

First, developing a strategy is the answer to ‘What am I doing on Twitter?’ I created the 5-Step framework called T.W.E.E.T. to help with that and for using Twitter: Target, Write, Engage, Explore, Track.  It works because it’s simple.

What are a few examples of nonprofits really leveraging the relationships from Twitter to impact awareness and fundraising or other key goals?

Pepsi Refresh showed what it means to pique the interest of the Twitter audience, and draw them to a site to learn more and take action. Pepsi took $20 million, and later included another $1.3 million for the Gulf, and used Twitter to help local causes be broadcast across the nation and beyond to win grants to help their communities by voting.

Mark Horvath, well-known as @hardlynormal on Twitter and founder of InvisiblePeople.tv, is another brilliant example. He travels the U.S. and Canada interviewing our homeless friends on video and gives them a voice, a voice everyone can now hear because of the reach of Twitter.

Twitter does numerous internal philanthropy projects, including your pro-bono Tweets for Good program and numerous resources. Can you talk about those?

Within our advertising platform, we offer pro-bono programs for non-profits already engaged on Twitter. Promoted Tweets are a tool advertisers use to promote specific campaigns via Tweets on Twitter. The Promoted Tweets for Good programs is an application-based pro-bono program serving a number of non-profit organizations each year. We offer a second type of Promoted Tweets for Good ad hoc to organizations involved in disaster relief in times of crisis or civil unrest.
Another useful resource is Hope 140, Twitter’s hub for being a “Force for Good.” It highlights ways to use Twitter for Good, along with several causes and helpful case studies. We’re always looking for more case studies to share creative ways nonprofits have used Twitter.

What do you see as helpful concepts that apply not only to Twitter but also to social media in general?

As Biz Stone says, “People are basically good… When you give them a simple tool that helps them exhibit that behavior, they will prove it to you every day.” Make it easy for supporters to learn, share, help, and grow. Start connecting and creating individual relationships. Make sure that when you first hop on and seek support, make it about real relationships, and not immediately about fundraising. Most people in the world don’t like to be asked for money immediately (on social media or elsewhere). Are there new people you’d like to connect with? Reach out! Are supporters already on a platform? Deepen those relationships. It’s also important to some extent to let your guard down. Open a window into your organization with a unique perspective. Social media is wide open for any cause to participate and draw strength from supporters.

2011-11-28-clairedcraignewmark3.jpgTalking Social Good at the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in San Francisco November 2011: Darian Heyman, Claire Diaz-Ortiz, and Craig Newmark. Photo Courtesy of Claire Diaz-Ortiz

“Be a Force for Good.”
~ Twitter’s operating principle

You can learn more about Claire at ClaireDiazOrtiz.com and follow her on Twitter @ClaireD. http://twitter.com/claired

For more details on using Twitter for Good, here is a short video of highlights from her book, and more tips and ideas at Hope140.org.

Amy Neumann is a writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

39 Inspiring Men and Their Passion for Charity

5 Dec

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2morrowknight/38-inspiring-men-and-thei_b_956168.html

39 Inspiring Men and Their Passion for Charity

Posted: 09/16/11 04:50 PM ET

  Charity ,   Inspiration ,   Twitter , Feel Good Stories , Giving , Nonprofits , Passion , Slidepollajax , Social Good , Impact News

This is the latest post in our series, TwitterPowerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who’ve helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.

A life of kindness and gratitude is tremendously powerful. And when applied to the charitable efforts making the world a better place, the results are often extraordinary. From across diverse backgrounds and all ends of the globe, these gentlemen exemplify a global view of sharing and helping others in their daily lives, and through the amazing networked nonprofits they support. They all embody the spirit of Booker T. Washington’s famous words: “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

Reluctant to talk about themselves, they deftly shift conversations from themselves to other people, or to one of their many projects. They are dreamers and visionaries. They like to imagine vibrant communities bursting with culture — music, art, history, theater, film — and full of people realizing their potential. But they’re not only dreamers, they want people to be a part of their dreams.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz, leader of Social Innovation at Twitter Inc., and author of the book Twitter for Good, is brilliant in the international community of philanthropy and is someone all three writers on this post respect. Her ideas, and Twitter, have led countless people toward social good. The Networked Nonprofits we support – 2morrowknight with SeeYourImpact, Amy with United Way, and Yasamin with The 1010Project – are impacted by her work. And by Twitter. As are all of the men highlighted here. In fact, if it weren’t for Twitter, we may not have had the honor of talking with all of them and sharing their insights.

In a world that will soon have 7 billion people, these men understand how important it is to engage non-profits that help raise our standard of living, expand our worldview, and give us hope for the future. Indeed, together, we thrive!

Authors’ Note: In case you missed it, here’s Part 20 of the series: The Social Media Vision of Jessica Northey.

Click here for the original article SlideShow!

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